Smart Cities Glossary

Anaerobic digester: A series of biological processes in which microorganisms break down organic matter, such as agriculture waste and plant material, manure, and food waste, in the absence of oxygen.

Anaerobic digestion system: A system where food and other wet organic waste is fed into a digestion tank and temperatures and pressure, oxygen levels, and moisture levels are optimized to speed up the decomposition process to produce biogas, compost, and liquid fertilizer.

Biogas production: A mixture of different gases, primarily methane and carbon dioxide, produced by anaerobic digestion, that can be converted into heat and electricity or processed into renewable natural gas.

Composting: The process of recycling decomposed organic material, such as leaves and vegetable matter, into a rich soil known as compost, for use in the community.

Decentralized water and waste treatment plants: A cost-effective and sustainable water collection, treatment and dispersal system for individual dwellings, businesses or small communities that can be managed as stand-alone facilities or integrated with centralized sewage systems providing a range of water treatment options and reducing pollutants and contaminants in the water.

Electric micro grid: A small scale power grid that can operate independently or in conjunction with main electrical grid and comprises a group of interconnected loads and distributed energy resources (DER), such as solar, wind, fuel cells or small generators, with clearly defined electrical boundaries.

Gas micro grid: Gridded piping system of natural gas, biomass or landfill methane, supplemented by gas delivered in trucks, where the trucks themselves run on natural gas as well as standby generators to operate the dispensers. It eliminates the need of electricity from electric main grid to fill gas vehicles or generators.

Gray water recycling: Gently used water generated in households or office buildings from sources that do not contain fecal matter, such as bathroom sinks, showers, and washing machines, that is treated and recycled for reuse.

Green infrastructure: A cost-effective approach to water management that reduces and treats stormwater runoff by mimicking the natural water cycle, and provides environmental, social, and economic benefits.

Green infrastructure for storm water runoff: The use of vegetation, soils, and other elements to restore the natural water cycle process to create healthier urban communities by reducing pollutant discharge to receiving bodies of water, removing air pollutants, and reducing energy use.

Liquid fertilizer production: Nutrients in the liquid stream produced in an anaerobic digestion system and sold to farmers and used in the community for agriculture.

Low flow fixtures: Fixtures that conserve resources by using less resources per minute.

Micro grid: A small scale power grid that is part of a larger centralized power grid, and can operate and produce energy autonomously from the local source of supply.

Passive heating and cooling designs: A building design approach that takes advantage of the climate and focuses on heat gain control and heat dissipation in the building in order to maintain a comfortable temperature range with little or no energy consumption.

Preservation of natural areas for groundwater recharge: The process of keeping landscapes in their natural state to allow vegetation to hold rainwater and soak into the soil and replenish groundwater.

Real-time water quality monitoring: The retrieval, transmission, processing and validation of data from data-analysis and monitoring tools to improve water quality.

Renewable energy sources: Sources that are naturally replenished including hydropower, solar, wind, biomass, and geothermal.

Rainwater barrel harvesting: A small, above ground storage tank used to collect and store rainwater to be used in yards and gardens, saving valuable resources and energy and reducing runoff pollution.

Smart electric meters: Advanced digital metering technology that automatically tracks usage information about electricity consumption and transmits back to electric companies without the need for manual meter reading and offers users a more detailed feedback on energy usage allowing them to make adjustments to reduce their energy use.

Smart real-time messaging: Provides users with almost instant access to detailed information and data for daily management and future planning.

Smart water meters: Advanced digital metering technology that automatically tracks usage information about water consumption and transmits back to water agencies without the need for manual meter reading and allows agencies to detect leaks and provides customers with real-time consumption data allowing them to make adjustment to reduce their water consumption.

Traffic management technologies: Utilizes a system of different technologies, such as cameras, road sensors, and other tools, to measure traffic patterns and send information to controllers to make necessary adjustments to improve traffic flow.

Treated water for industrial and agricultural use: Treated liquid waste that is processed and piped into water reservoirs to store for further use as liquid fertilizer or use in industrial plants.

Water micro grid: Water supply networks as a grid, that consist of micronets (water micro networks) for water infrastructure. Micronets are small scale water systems built on top of the existing water supply network infrastructure. It follows drop of water from local source and store natural rain water and recycle all water for local use. Micronets reduce waste, eliminate potential for contamination, reduce energy requirements and is resilient to natural climate events.

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